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Last Updated: October 19, 2019 11 hours ago

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  • Centre to bring all medical devices under CDSCO lens

    11 hours ago
    The government has announced its plan to bring all medical devices, including implants and contraceptives, under the view of the Central Drugs and Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). The move aims to improve the safety and quality of the medical instruments.  Draft Notification: ♦ The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aims to include medical devices that were earlier not under the purview of CDSCO, the apex drug controller, as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. It will be made effective from 1 December 2019. ♦ For the implementation process, the government has sought comments from all stakeholders within 30 days before finalizing the draft notification. As per the draft notification, the timeline allocated for implementation is 1 December 2019. ♦ After finalizing, the import, manufacture, and sale of all medical devices, listed by CDSCO, should get bonafide by the CDSCO. Manufacturers must get licenses from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

    CJI Ranjan Gogoi recommends Justice Bobde as next CJI

    11 hours ago
    Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi recommended the name of the next senior-most judge in the Supreme Court (SC) Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde as his successor as per convention. The recommendation was sent with effect to the law ministry. Justice Gogoi demits his office on 17 November 2019. Justice Bobde will take over from CJI Ranjan Gogoi as the 47th CJI. He will be sworn in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. Justice Bobde will hold the office till April 21, 2021.   Procedure to recommend the next CJI: ♦ According to the convention, the CJI will recommend the second senior-most judge in the SC hierarchy as the next CJI. The convention by the CJI is iron-clad. ♦ Generally, the CJI is required to formally send in a request to the effect at least a month prior to demitting the office. The appointment will be made a formal after the Law Ministry gets its approval from the Ministry of Home Ministry. ♦ It will be then sent to the President's office, which issues a formal warrant of appointment. Any important appointment to the Supreme court is made by the President of India under his hand and seal.  ♦ Note: This tradition of recommending the next CJI by the SC CJI was broken once Emergency when former PM Indira Gandhi superseded several judges to bring in Justice AN Ray as the CJI.

    Rajnath Singh approved the admission of girl children in Sainik schools

    12 hours ago
    Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh approved the proposal for admission of girl children in Sainik schools. The approval will be effective from academic session 2021-22 in a phased manner.  The Ministry of Defence conducted a pilot project for the admission of girl children in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago. The move comes after the success of the project. Aim: The move comes in line with the aim of the PM Modi's vision towards greater inclusiveness, gender equality, enabling greater participation of women in the Armed Forces. It also focuses on strengthening the motto of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao propagated by PM Modi. Implementation: Ministry of Defence directed the concerned authorities to ensure the availability of necessary infrastructure for the smooth implementation of the directive. The authorities will also make sure that sufficient female staff is placed in Sainik schools.

    Finance Minister led the Indian delegation at G20 Finance Ministers

    1 day ago
    Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman led the Indian delegation at G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors as well as the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings held in Washington, D.C Aim: The focus of discussions in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was on the current challenges to the global economy and possible responses to mitigate them.  G 20 The G20 has the responsibility to navigate the global policy co-ordination effectively by identifying and taking active measures for building buffers and catalyzing a second wave of reforms. She gave a clarion call for concerted action in the face of a global slowdown. The emerging market economies, in particular, face the challenge of achieving economic growth and inclusive development while pursuing sustainable financing. The importance of countries seeking structural reform measures to counter the growth slowdown. The structural reform measures undertaken by India. India reduced the Corporate tax from 30% to 22%, thereby making India one of the lowest corporate tax imposing countries in the world. This will spur investment. Alongside the Corporate tax reform, the Government of India’s measures about Aaadhar based Direct Benefit Transfer, as well as Universal Health Care policy received a special mention from the Finance Minister.The main issues discussed during the BRICS FMCBG meeting included those about the New Development Bank (such as membership expansion and enhancing the effectiveness of the utilization of the NDB’s Project Preparation Facility), developing the way forward on IMF resources as well as formulating a consensus co-operation on Authorized Economic Operators Programme. The effectiveness of the Project Preparation Facility is concerned, the Finance Minister indicated that sustainable recovery mechanisms need to be inbuilt into the PPF guidelines so that the assistance extended is recovered once the project loan is sanctioned. The proposal emerging at the current juncture concerning strengthening borrowed resources of IMF, Finance Minister expressed a word of caution funds could not provide full confidence in extreme crises as creditor nations themselves may be in stress. The debt sustainability is concerned, Secretary, Economic Affairs, while agreeing on caution that the list of debt sustainability and transparency in LICs should not undermine the internationally recognized commitment on official development assistance.The discussions on UHC financing must adopt a holistic approach encompassing preventive, curative, and palliative care. The platform, how the private sector will be engaged in the process and the contours and scope of the platform as to whether it will involve project preparation, knowledge sharing, technical assistance. Union Finance Minister attended an Industry Roundtable organized by USIBC and CII as well as an Economist Roundtable organized by CII. The bilateral meetings with Chancellor of Exchequer United Kingdom, Mr. Sajid Javed, Secretary of State for Development of the United Kingdom.

    ECI appoints Shri Vivek Dube as Special Observer for Sikkim Bye-Elections

    1 day ago
    Election Commission of India appointed Shri Vivek Dube (IPS AP 1981 Retd) as Special Observer for the ensuing Bye Elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of Sikkim 2019 in general and specifically for 10 Poklok -Kamrang Assembly Constituency in Sikkim. The ECI about Law and Order situation and oversee the deployment and other security-related issues.  The Commission decided to give inputs and complaints received. It may be recalled that Sh Dube was also deputed earlier as Special Observer to State of West Bengal during the Lok Sabha General Elections in April 2019. Election Commission of India It is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at the national, state and district levels. Headquarters: New Delhi

    Maharashtra police ties up with AI firm to prevent spread of fake news

    1 day ago
    Maharashtra State Assembly Elections board extended intelligence (artificial and human intelligence)-powered tech firm, to detect and prevent the spread of fake news. The company helps detects fake news, logical fallacy, and inaccuracies. It has been monitoring various social media platforms for 20 days to monitor cases of violation under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The Election Commission of India evaluates the effectiveness of its collaborative approach during the polls along with the cyber cell, intends to continue improving its technical approach and scale this POC (Proof of Concept) in tandem with police departments of other states. The company has tools to detect and track problematic content. It also has 20 fact-checkers and verification experts, who are keeping tabs on fake news. It has set up a war room in the Maharashtra Cyber Office at the World Trade Center, which forms the central hub of all detection, tracking, reporting activities. Election commission of India It is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at the national, state and district levels. Headquarters: New Delhi

    India Govt organises Jaipur foot artificial limb fitment camp in Bangladesh

    1 day ago
    A camp is organized under India for the Humanity initiative of the Government of India to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.  A team of eight experts from Jaipur based Bhagwan Mahaveer Vikalang Sahayata Samiti is conducting the camp. Around 500 amputees will be provided an artificial limb in Dhaka through the camp. The Indian High Commission in association with the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Along with Bangladesh Orthopedic Society is organizing a 42 day long Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp in Dhaka.  Orthopedic Camp The camp started on 28 September, was formally inaugurated jointly by India and Bangladesh officials. Gandhi Jayanthi The Gandhi Jayanti celebrated on 02 October 2018 as the beginning of 150 years of celebrating the Mahatma marked the culmination of the Swachhta Hi Sewa event.

    Kerala extends maternity leave benefits to teachers, other staff of private educational institutions

    1 day ago
    Kerala is extending maternity leave benefits to teachers and other staff of private educational institutions. The Central Government approved the Kerala Government’s decision to bring these teachers and employees under the Maternity Benefit Act. The amendment comes into force. Kerala Kerala becomes the first state in the country to provide maternity benefits in the private educational sector. The state cabinet held on August 29 this year decided to approach the Centre to issue a notification in this regard.  Employees covered under the law can avail 26 weeks of maternity leave with salary. An employer has to provide an amount of 1,000 rupees as a medical allowance.

    National Institute of Nutrition centenary stamp released

    1 day ago
    A unique commemorative postal stamp of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Hyderabad released by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan. The stamp has been brought out under the Corporate My stamp scheme of India Posts. These stamps are of limited edition and are made to order. The, 5000 stamps with a face value of ₹5 per stamp were printed would print an additional 1,000 sheets for sale online at the e-post office and for display and sale in national and global philately exhibitions by the Department. The NIN centenary year theme was Empowering the nation through nutrition. The release happened at a function held in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi to commemorate the completion of Centenary Celebrations of the NIN, which is the oldest Institute under the ICMR. Balram Bhargava, Secretary Department of Health Research & Director General, ICMR, and R Health, Director of NIN. One time award instituted to commemorate NIN’s Centenary called the ICMR-NIN-Centenary Award conferred on C Gopalan, the legendary nutrition scientist who passed away at the age of 101 on October 3 and was presented posthumously to his son Sarath Gopalan.

    Hailakandi becomes first Assam district to introduce online

    1 day ago
    Hailakandi becomes the first district in Assam to introduce a digital system and the state government employees will need to file their leave applications online. The government employees working under the district administration can proceed on leave only after getting a digital approval as henceforth no leave application on paper will be accepted. This arrangement was put on a trial basis for some time to ensure that the system is the first district in Assam to implement such a system. Apart from the DC establishment, the circle offices in the district have also been brought under the new leave management system. Additional Deputy Commissioner Omar Sheriff will look after the leave related matters of the DC office while the circle officers have been assigned for the same in their respective offices. Each employee has been allotted a login ID and password to apply for leave in the 'Manav Sampada' website, and one can see whether the leave application has been approved or canceled by the reporting officer.

    Italy to introduce 3% web tax on digital giants from 2020

    2 days ago
    Italian scheme to yield about 600 million euros ($662 million) a year alternative revenues will allow it to avoid a scheduled increase in sales tax. Italy and European Union members have long complained about the way web giants collect considerable profits in their countries to pay only a few million euros in taxes each year. The EU failed to agree to tax the firms. France and the United States reached a deal in August to end a standoff over a French tax on big internet companies, with France repaying companies the difference between the French tax and a planned mechanism being drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The companies can book profit in low-tax countries, such as Ireland and Luxembourg, no matter where revenue originates. Italy's plan is broadly in line with proposals from the OECD, which last week urged governments to redraw rules for taxing global giants. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Headquarters: Paris, France Founded: 30 September 1961

    Dr Jitendra Singh Chairs the Asia Health 2019 Conference

    2 days ago
    Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh organized Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana a successful health insurance scheme launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018. Around 50 lakh people have benefited from this scheme. The spectrum of healthcare and disease. The qualitative and quantitative changes in the health care sector, we should always keep in mind the disease spectrum in India.  The diseases which were unheard of India in the past have become very much prevalent nowadays, like heart disease or diabetes. Some of the disorders which were confined to some areas or States do not determine the data on health care. The new technology is needed, but there are no alternatives for the human interface in health care. India - 5 trillion Economy  India is a younger nation where 70 percent of its population is below the age of 40 years who will achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India a 5 trillion economy by 2024. The young energy of the nation to wither away, we have to concentrate on providing a sound health care system to them.

    Indian Railways launched 9 Sewa Service Trains

    2 days ago
    Indian Railways launched 09 Sewa Service Trains on 15 October. The service aims to connect smaller towns around major cities. Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, along with Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched these services from New Delhi. The Delhi-Shamli passenger train was inaugurated. Other Sewa Service Trains were flagged off through video-conferencing. 9 Sewa Service: 09 Sewa Service trains will run in eight states. Of the 09 trains, four trains will run on a daily basis, and the other five will run six days a week. ♦ Coimbatore – Palani Passenger (Daily) - Tamil Nadu ♦ Murkongselek – Dibrugarh Passenger (Daily) - Assam ♦ Bhubaneswar – Nayagarh Express (Daily) - Assam ♦ Delhi – Shamli Passenger (Daily) - Delhi ♦ Vadnagar – Mahesana DEMU (6 days a week) - Gujarat ♦ Asarva  –Himmatnagar DEMU (6 days a week) - Gujarat ♦ Karur – Salem DEMU (6 days a week)- Tamil Nadu ♦ Coimbatore – Pollachi Passenger (6 days a week) - Tamil Nadu ♦ Yesvantpur – Tumkur DEMU (6 days a week) - Karnataka

    India Post launched a mobile app to ease transactions

    2 days ago
    India Post launched a new mobile app to facilitate easier transactions for customers. The India post app is available on Google Play Store.  The Department of Post has launched mobile banking for its savings account customers. The app will make the post office savings account easier. The facility will be available for all the post office savings account holders of the Core Banking Solutions (CBS) post offices.  In 2018, the Department of Post launched an Internet banking facility for its savings account holders.  Eligibility: ♦ To avail the app, the Customers should have post office savings account in CBS post office.  ♦ Customers must have valid login and transaction credentials of Internet banking. If Net banking is not available for the customer, mobile should be enabled after enabling the net banking option at the customer ID (CIF) level by the SOL (service outlet).  ♦ Customers with single or Joint 'B' account type are eligible  ♦ Joint 'A,'  Minor, Illiterate, branch office accounts are not eligible for availing the mobile banking facility.

    Government bans import of the National Flag

    2 days ago
    The government has banned the import of National Flag from across the border by amending the import policy. The move by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Government aimed to support khadi artisans. Reason: Ban on import of National Flag is because the importers are violating import policy norms by importing machine-made flags. According to the specifications under Part 1, Section 1.2 of Flag Code of India, 2002, the National Flag of India must be made of hand-spun and handwoven wool, cotton, silk khadi bunting. KVIC: The ban on the import of the National Flag will help Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). It is a statutory entity that has the right to manufacture Indian National Flags.  KVIC reported that the sale of the National Flag was going down. The Khadi had sold National Flags for Rs.3.69 crore in the year 2017-18. This has registered a decline of more than 14% to Rs.3.16 crore in 2018-19.

    Maharashtra Highway Police launched MRADMS Maharashtra

    2 days ago
    The Maharashtra Highway Police launched MRADMS Maharashtra, a mobile application, for its personnel on 16 October. The app will collect and analyze the data related to road accidents in the state. Maharashtra state highway police will conduct training programmes for its personnel on how to use the app.  Aim: The aim of the app is to minimize the loss of life by making roads safe for driving. According to the statistics provided by the highway police, in 2018, 13,261 lives have been claimed due to road accidents in the state in 2018. MRADMS Maharashtra: ♦ The app has been developed to find the reasons behind road accidents and also for their detailed analysis. ♦ The scientific data is expected to suggest various measures, like removing deficiencies in road engineering, to curb such mishaps. ♦ The app will replace the old manual method used by police personnel to collect spot details. Manual data is inadequate as it was being collected only for crime records. ♦ The app can is available in the Google Play Store. It can be accessed only by registered police officials.

    Ravi Capoor inaugurated IHGF Delhi Fair

    3 days ago
    The 48th edition of the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) was held at the India Expo Centre & Mart at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Textiles Secretary, Ravi Capoor, inaugurated IHGF Delhi Fair. The expo is being held from 16 October to 20 October 2019. Aim: The skills of Indian artisans has the potential to achieve greater growth in both the sector and the artisans and the exporters. IHGF-Delhi Fair aims to ensure that in 2020, the Fair attracts over 10,000 exhibitors. IHGF-Delhi Fair Highlights: ♦ It is expected that the Fair will increase the handicraft exports of India to Rs.100,000 crore from the exiting Rs.26,590 crore. ♦ EPCH introduced its move for sustainable development and preservation of the environment by focusing on reduce, reuse, and recycle in this fair.  ♦ Centre directed the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) to explore the possibility of opening handicraft parks in India. It is also expected that the parks can be developed into tourism and crafts centres. ♦ Transforming the production from small organized units to such parks will benefit the small units as it will reduce overhead costs. ♦ Government suggested EPCH include new segments in the IHGF-Delhi Fair for women entrepreneurs and new artisans.  ♦ EPCH was asked to ensure that the handicraft industry works on a sustainable model under which the entire production will be processed as a zero-waste manufacturing sector. Participants: More than 3200 Indian exhibitors are participating in the Fair. International buyers from 110 countries will source home, lifestyle, fashion, furniture, and textiles products. Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH): Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts - EPCH, was established in 1986-87 under the Companies Act. EPCH aims to promote, support, protect, maintain, and increase the export of handicrafts. The apex body for Indian Handicraft promoters created the necessary infrastructure, marketing, and information facilities that can be availed both by the members of exporters and importers.

    ONGC Videsh discovered oil in Colombia and Brazil

    3 days ago
    ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) has discovered oil in its onshore exploration block CPO-5, Colombia, in the Llanos Basin. It also discovered major gas in the deep offshore exploration block BM-SEAL-4, Brazil, in the Sergipe Alagoas Basin. ONGC Videsh Limited is the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Well Sol-1 was discovered in the block CPO-5. It encountered the oil-bearing sands of 8 meters at a depth of 2852m. Oil discovery in Sol-1 has confirmed the extent of oil pays further south of the block. In 2017 and 2018, OVL had previously discovered commercial oil in the same pay in wells Mariposa-1 and Indico-1, respectively. The two wells are under production now. OVL: ONGC Videsh holds 70%  participating interest (PI) in CPO-5 block as Operator. The balance 30% PI is owned by Petrodorado South America S.A., Sucursal (PDSA), Colombia.

    Air India became the first airline in the world to use a TaxiBot

    4 days ago
    National carrier Air India (AI) became the first airline in the world to use a TaxiBot on an Airbus A320 aircraft operating a commercial flight with passengers onboard. The aircraft of AI 665 Delhi-Mumbai flight was brought to the runway at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) airport’s Terminal 3 using the TaxiBot. The aircraft was flagged off by Air India Chief Managing Director Ashwani Lohani. The move of Air India is towards a cleaner environment. Air India's Taxibot: ♦ AI's TaxiBot can tow an aircraft with its engines switched off. ♦ This will help in saving fuel, bringing down consumption by as much as 85% used during taxiing of aircraft. ♦ It also aims to reduce the wear and tear of the engine and curb carbon emission, thus improving air quality.  ♦ The TaxiBots will also help in decongesting boarding gates and apron area by providing efficient pushbacks. Note: A TaxiBot is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor. It is used as alternate taxiing equipment. It is used for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa.

    Ministry of MSDE to set up 14 AWSITC in India

    4 days ago
    Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is to launch 14 Authorized World Skills India Training Centers (AWSITC) across nine cities in India. The announcement was made by the Union Minister of MSDE Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey. The centres aim to improve the Media and Entertainment sector. New Institutes: ♦ AWSITCs will be set up in partnership with the Media & Entertainment Skill Council (MESC). ♦ The setting up of the new institutes aims to provide advanced skill training of candidates in the media and entertainment sector.  ♦ The initiative aims to help them compete in the WorldSkills and IndiaSkills competitions.  ♦ It will also further develop the skilling eco-system for training candidates for the international market. ♦ The institutes will help the candidates to enhance their skills according to global standards. The training programs have been designed as per the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) level in which the industries will be linked.  ♦ Candidates will be provided hands-on training on live projects.

    ICAR released two kits for the control of Swine and Detection of Antigen

    4 days ago
    Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) released two diagnostic kits developed under the Make in India initiative. The kits were released by Shri Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Dr. T. Mahopatra, Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR at New Delhi. The two kits are: ♦ Bluetongue: Sandwich ELISA (sELISA) for the detection of Antigen ♦ Japanese Encephalitis IgM ELISA kit for the control of Swine  Bluetongue: Sandwich ELISA (sELISA): Bluetongue sandwich ELISA (sELISA) kit can be used to detect Antigen. The insect-transmitted viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants is widespread among the sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes, and camels in the country. It is expected that using the Kit, the Bluetongue (BT) Virus can be controlled. Other measures, including vaccination of susceptible animals, vector control, and quarantine of infected animals with excellent management practices. One other preventive measures other than vaccination in the early diagnosis and isolation of the infected animals. It also controls the spreading of the disease. Japanese Encephalitis IgM ELISA kit: Japanese Encephalitis is a re-emerging viral zoonotic disease leading to the death of children every year in the country. The Kit is expected to help in assessing the active infection of the JE virus in the swine population. The assessment will lead to the prediction of the outbreak of JE in humans. The ICAR-IVRI developed will be available for the farmers at a minimal price of Rs. 5,000 only. The Kit can be used for testing around 45 samples.

    India Ministerial Dialogue by CERAWeek was held in New Delhi

    4 days ago
    The India Ministerial Dialogue by CERAWeek was held at the India Energy Forum, New Delhi on 15 October 2019.  Delegation: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi and Union Minister of State (I/C) of Power and New & Renewable Energy and Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri R.K. Singh participated in the meeting. Dialogue highlights: ♦ India is the third-largest energy consumer in the world after the US and China.  ♦ It is observed that a huge energy and growth potential is required in India among all the other countries. The renewable energy use of electricity capacity has significantly increased to 22% from around 10% in 2014-15.  ♦ Ethanol blending percentage has risen from 0.67% in 2012-13 to 6%.  ♦ More than 95% of households now have access to LPG, making their kitchens smoke free. ♦ Natural Gas is playing an important role in the energy basket.

    Bihar to release assistance of Rs.6,000 each to the flood affected families

    4 days ago
    The Bihar state government is to provide an assistance of Rs.6,000 each to the flood-affected families. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at the meeting held in the State Disaster Management Authority. The relief amount of Rs.6000 will be transferred directly to the accounts of beneficiaries through the Public Financial Management System. Also, the officials have been directed to make arrangements to open bank accounts for those who did not have one. Beneficiary districts: Over 7,22,000 people of 15 districts, including Patna, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, and Bhojpur, were affected by floods. The affected families in flood-hit districts of Patna, Bhojpur, Bhagalpur, Nawada, Nalanda, Begusarai, Munger, Buxar, Katihar, Khagariya, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Jahanabad, Arwal, and Purnia will be provided financial assistance.

    India and Netherlands launched the second phase of LOTUS HR

    5 days ago
    India and Netherlands launched the second phase of the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuseplant (LOTUS-HR) as a part of a joint collaboration on 14 October. LOTUS-HR was launched during the visit of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty, Queen Maxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The program was organized by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, and Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan at the Barapullah drain in Delhi. Aim: The collaboration of the two countries in the project aims to pave new ways to create techno entrepreneurship. It will also encourage a sustainable business model to convert sewage water into clean water for healthy reuse. 2nd Phase of LOTUS-HR: In the second Phase of LOTUS-HR, 10 thousand litre, sewage water will be treated per day. Both the Dutch and Indian companies are contributing to the second phase of the project by sharing their existing technologies. A new plant, which is to be commissioned soon, will treat 10,000 L sewage water per day. LOTUS-HR: The LOTUS-HR project was initiated in July 2017. The project aimed to develop a wastewater management approach to produce clean water, which can be reused for various purposes.  The project is jointly supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research /STW, Government of Netherlands.

    Indian Railways launched Sewa Service trains

    5 days ago
    Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal launched the Sewa Service trains on 14 October 2019. He flagged off the Delhi-Shamli daily passenger train from the New Delhi railway station. Aim: The objective of Sewa Service trains is to improve and provide last-mile connectivity for those traveling from villages and small towns to major cities. Sewa Service trains: ♦ Indian Railways announced that it is to launch 10 Sewa Service trains.  ♦ The Sewa Service trains will include daily trains between Delhi and Shamli, Bhubaneswar and Nayagarh town, Murkongselex and Dibrugarh, Kota and Jhalawar city and Coimbatore and Palani. ♦ Other Sewa Service trains that will run six days a week will run from Vadnagar to Mahesana, Asarya to Himmatnagar, Karur to Salem, Yesvantpur to Tumkur and Coimbatore to Pollachi. ♦ Of the 10 Sewa Service trains, Tamil Nadu, under the Southern Railway's jurisdiction, receives three trains. It is the biggest beneficiary in the first set of launches.

    AP to launch a statewide water grid project

    October 14, 2019
    The Andhra Pradesh State government has launched a statewide water grid project to provide a drinking water connection to every household in the State by 2022. The announcement was made by Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister P Ramachandra Reddy. Water grid project: ♦ The statewide water grid project will ensure the supply of clean drinking water to every household from 2022 for at least the next 30 years. The groundwater levels in Andhra Pradesh have fallen to below 1,100 feet in districts like Anantapur, Chittoor, Srikakulam, and Vizianagaram. This drop has caused an immediate need to augment water supply in the districts of the State.  ♦ The State government also plans to lay a massive network of pipelines all over the State to supply clean drinking water. It has been reported that the groundwater in Godavari districts is getting polluted due to aquaculture too.

    Government to invest USD 60bn to develop natural supply

    October 14, 2019
    The Indian government is to invest over $60 billion to develop natural supply and distribution infrastructure. The Modi-led Indian government has set the target to more than doubling the share of natural gas in its energy base to 15% by 2030. The announcement was made by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the International Think Tank Meeting (ITT) in New Delhi on 13 October. Centre will be giving special provisions to develop gas infrastructure across the country.  Natural gas: Government is planning to develop a gas-based economy. Of the energy consumption, Natural gas constitutes of 6.2% across the country.  Natural gas is gradually becoming a bridging fuel for a low carbon economy in India. Implementation: An estimated investment of $60 billion is underway in building a gas pipeline and terminal infrastructure. The pipelining is at the stage of completion. The city gas distribution network will soon cover 70% of India's population. The Indian government is exploring strategic partnerships for the overall development of the oil & gas sector.

    ADB to lend USD 190mn to improve road connectivity in Rajasthan

    October 14, 2019
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $190 million Tranche 2 loan on 13 October. The loan is to upgrade 754 kilometres of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate- lane standards. It is expected to benefit about 26 million people in 14 districts of Rajasthan.  Tranche 2 road: ♦ The Tranche 2 roads pass through the rural areas of Rajasthan mostly. These areas lack reliable connectivity. Hence the move will help to improve access to health, education facilities, and markets, leading to increased job opportunities. ♦ Apart from promoting operational efficiencies and innovations, the project will encourage the participation of the private sector through Hybrid Annuity Mode and engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracts. ♦ The project provides to construct more than 200 bus stops, 70 km of hard shoulder, and 2 km of raised sidewalk on project roads. It aims to benefit commuters and pedestrians, especially women and children.  Tranche 1 loan: The Tranche 1 loan of $220 million was signed in July 2017. The loan upgraded about 1,000km of state roads.

    NITI Aayog plans to attract 2 lakh foreign students

    October 14, 2019
    The policy think tank of the Indian government NITI Aayog has decided to create Exclusive Education Zone (EEZ), an action plan to make India an education hub to attract 2 lakh foreign students annually from 2023. The decision was announced at a multi-ministerial meeting hosted by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar. The multi-ministerial meeting was attended by senior officials of Ministries of Home Affairs (MHA), Human Resources Development (HRD), AYUSH, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), and other senior officials. Aim: The proposal aims to increase the growth in the inflow of foreign students. It has also proposed to float the idea of a single authority to deal with the issue. NITI Aayog also proposed the idea to allow foreign universities to set up their campuses in India.  Implementation: EEZ will be implemented in a few select cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, and Sikkim, apart from blending technical education with short-term vocational courses. NITI Aayog reported that foreign students' inflow declined to 0.78% annual growth in 2017-18 against 2% in 2007-08.  NITI Aayog: Formed on: 1 January 2015 Headquarters: Delhi Chairperson: Narendra Modi Vice Chairperson: Rajiv Kumar CEO: Amitabh Kant NITI Aayog, replaced Planning commission, is the Policy think tank of the Indian government. It aims to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    New version of return filing portal to be launched by GST Network

    October 14, 2019
    The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is to launch an improved version of the GST return filing portal on 22 October. It aims to make the process easier. The announcement was made by the GST Network CEO, Prakash Kumar. GST benefit: ♦ GST has reduced complexity by lowering the number of forms to be filed by businesses to 12. Previously it was 495 under as many as 17 central and state laws. ♦ Data that is shared by indirect tax administration with the income tax department has helped in detecting mismatches. ♦ Currently, there are 12.3 million registered GST taxpayers. GSTN: The GST Network provides IT infrastructure and services to taxpayers, central/state government, and other stakeholders for implementation of GST. It aims to provide reliable, efficient, and robust IT Backbone for the smooth functioning of the GST regimen. It also enables economic agents to leverage the entire nation as One Market with minimal Indirect Tax compliance cost.

    Centre to fund Rs.25 lakh crore for infrastructural development

    October 14, 2019
    Centre has announced Rs.25 lakh crore for infrastructural development in the villages across the country. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 October. The move aims to strengthen rural infrastructure. The fund will be used to construct modern storage centres for crops also.  Aim: The fund comes with a broader vision for farmers. Centre has been taking steps to solve the problems of farmers permanently.  Other measures: ♦ Among the allocated Rs.25 lakh crore, Rs.3.5 lakh crore will be used for water conservation and building facilities for water conservation. ♦ The government is also carrying work by constructing roads of the village.  ♦ klavya Model School is to be introduced by the government to enhance the education and skills of tribal children.

    India International Cooperative Trade Fair was held in New Delhi

    October 14, 2019
    A 3-day India International Cooperative Trade Fair (IICTF) was in New Delhi from 11th October to 13th October. The trade fair was first-of-its-kind. Aim: IICTF was held to promote cooperative to cooperative trade within India and abroad, leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity. The event provided a platform for the industry and business companies from India and abroad to build an alliance. It also offered business networking, product sourcing, and interaction with primary producers of a wide range of products and service providers. Participants: Thirty-five countries, including Australia, Japan, China, Brazil, the US, UK, Germany, and Iran, participated in the trade event. Also, over 150 cooperative societies participated in IICTf. Highlights: ♦ 75 MoUs were signed at the three day IICTF.  ♦ Discussions were held on themes including Globalisation of Cooperative Trade, Financial Inclusion, Empowerment of Youth and Women through Cooperatives, Agro-processing Ecosystem through Cooperatives, Agri-Tech and Climate Smart Agriculture through cooperatives, Cooperatives as Cost-Effective and Efficient Service providers, Big Data and Cyber Security in Cooperative Sector, Dairy Cooperative Opportunities for Value Addition and Trade and Farm Mechanisation and Inputs Supply- Role of Cooperatives. ♦ Yuva Sahakar-­Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 was launched at the fair. The scheme was formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

    Annual Ganges river dolphin census begins

    October 12, 2019
    The annual Ganges river dolphin census, undertaken by the World Wide Fund for Nature-India in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department along about 250-km-long riverine stretch of Upper Ganga between Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary and Narora Ramsar site began in Bijnor. The previous years when direct counting method was used this year the tandem boat survey method is being used. The renowned river and marine ecologist Gill Braulik, provides a more accurate count of the endangered species. The statistical tools are employed to arrive at the final count.  The forest official added this year the upstream of Bijnor Ganga barrage up to Balawali has also been included. It has added around 30 km to the area being covered by the census which will conclude on October 15. The dumping of single-use plastic, industrial pollution, fishing and dredging as some of the threats to dolphins in the region. The increase in the number of barrages and dams is also affecting their growth as such structures impede the flow of water. The animal is known to make strange sounds when it breathes, earning it the sobriquet Susu. It is also called a blind dolphin because it doesn’t have a crystalline eye lens and uses echolocation to navigate and hunt.

    SARAS Aajeevika Mela underway at India Gate Lawns in New Delhi

    October 12, 2019
    The SARAS Aajeevika Mela organized by the Ministry of Rural Development. The event held at India Gate Lawns in New Delhi. The event which got underway will carry on till October 23. It will be formally inaugurated by Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tomorrow.  Objective The main objective of this Mela to bring the rural women Self Help Groups formed with the support of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission, under one platform to showcase their skills sell their products and help them build linkages with bulk buyers.  Over 200 stalls have been set-up at the Mela venue, where rural SHG craftswomen from 29 States and UTs will show-case varied range of products like handicrafts, handlooms, natural food products and a food court with regional cuisines. Handloom: The sarees Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Cotton and silk sarees from Bihar, Kosa sarees from Chhattisgarh, Tasar silk and cotton sarees from Jharkhand, IIkal sarees from Karnataka, Chanderi sarees and Bagh print sarees from Madhya Pradesh, Paithani and silk sarees from Maharashtra, Tasar and Banda sarees from Odisha, Kanchipuram sarees from Tamil Nadu, Pochampalli sarees from Telangana, Silk sarees from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina sarees from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched sarees, Batik print, Tenth and Baluchari sarees from West Bengal. Dress Materials The dress materials and apparel Mehkla chadar from Assam, Bharat gunthan and patchwork from Gujarat, dupatta and dress materials from Jharkhand, Ilkal Kurtis from Karnataka, stoles and Eri products from Meghalaya, Bagh print dress materials from Madhya Pradesh, dress materials from Maharashtra, Phulkari from Punjab, readymade garments, suits from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina stole, sarees, shawl from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched and batik print stoles from West Bengal. Handicraft, jewellery and home décor water hyacinth handbags and yoga mats from Assam, pearl jewellery from Andhra Pradesh, lac bangles from Bihar, Madhubani painting, Sikki crafts from Bihar, bell metal products from Chhattisgarh; mud mirror work and Dori work from Gujarat; terracotta from Haryana, tribal jewellery from Jharkhand, Channapatna toys from Karnataka, Lamasa art products from Maharashtra, Sabai grass products, Patachitra on palm leave from Odisha, leather bags, wall hanging, lamp sheds from Telangana, home décor from Uttar Pradesh; Dokra craft, Sital patti and diversified products from West Bengal.  Natural food products natural spices and food products from Kerala, green products across states like spices, ginger, tea, pulses, rice, millets products, medical plants products, coffee, papad, apple jam, achar etc. would be available for sale.

    Kayakalp Awards AIIMS Delhi wins top cleanliness award bags 3 crore

    October 12, 2019
    All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) proved in medical expertise but also in hygiene and cleanliness. The premier medical institute bagged the first prize of ₹3 crores under the government’s Kayakalp scheme for 2018-19. The Kayakalp Award instituted as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on 15 May 2015 as a national initiative to recognize and felicitate public health facilities that demonstrate high levels of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control measures on promoting cleanliness in public spaces. The Central Government Hospitals A category after AIIMS Delhi, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry judged as the runner-up in this category with ₹1.5 crore prize money, and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh and Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi won the Commendation Award of Rs. 50 Lakh each. The winner was Shri Vinoba Bhave Civil Hospital (VBCH), Silvassa winning ₹2 crore, with AIIMS Bhubaneswar as the runner-up winning ₹1 crore. North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health (LGBRIMH,) Tezpur and AIIMS, Bhopal each won ₹50 lakh as Commendation Award. Cleanliness is no more a one-time activity but is integrated in our day-to-day practices and should become a habit. Kayakalp played a pivotal role in reinstating and reconfirming trust and confidence of the community in public health facilities. The hospitals and their collective efforts in improving cleanliness, hygiene and infection control practices should continue unabated.The health minister also felicitated the District Hospitals, Primary Health Centres (PHC) and Community Health Centres (CHC), wherein 29 hospitals won the First Prize, 14 were awarded the Second Prize and the Third Prize was won by 2 hospitals. In the current year, for the holistic and comprehensive improvement across the health sector, the Kayakalp scheme was extended to private sector health facilities; 11 private health facilities were felicitated at the event. The number of facilities under Kayakalp rose from 750 health facilities in 2015-16 to more than 26,000 facilities in 2018-19. The number of facilities that got the Kayakalp Awards also increased from 97 2015-16 to 1,539 facilities in 2016-17 and 2,962 in 2017-18. For 2018-19, 4,820 healthcare facilities have received Kayakalp Awards.

    Union Government may set up Rs 6,000 crore fund for farmer bodies

    October 12, 2019
    The union government is planning to set up a Rs 6,660 crore fund to nurture 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) across the country over the next five years, a promise made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget. These FPOs organised groups of small and marginal farmers. They will help farmers improve income through better market access and collective bargaining power. This will completely be a centrally sponsored programme. We have got the go-ahead from the agriculture minister. Under this programme, the agriculture ministry will fund, handhold, train, ensure easy credit availability and provide other support to these FPOs to make them viable. The government will also provide them with technological interventions for better output and they will be able to have access to shared affordable resources. Every FPO should have a minimum of 500 member-farmers on board with central government having a sizeable equity. The main challenge before FPOs is availability of credit as banks don’t give them loan owing to unsecured returns.The FPOs will be able to have easy access to credit backed by a sovereign guarantee. This will help FPOs expand their operations. These FPOs will run as a business unit and the profit generated would be shared between the member-farmers. These FPOs would also have capacity-building programmes to enhance their competitiveness in the market.

    Indian Railways launched Sahyatri app

    October 11, 2019
    The Indian Railways has launched a website and mobile app that will facilitate the passengers to register their complaints online. The website was launched by the Union minister Nityanand Rai. Online facility: ♦ The passengers can login to the website www.railways.delhipolice.gov.in and the mobile app Sahyatri can file their complaints regarding the issues they face in the railway. This will facilitate the railway police to address the complaints of passengers from across India and crime detection by integrating the criminal database online. ♦ The app will help railway passengers to find out the jurisdiction of a police station and the details of GRP officials. The passengers can download the app on Android and iOS mobile phones. ♦ Using the app, the passengers can not only share information among GRP but will certainly benefit as citizen services have also been provided on the website.

    Chhattisgarh launched the first Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur

    October 11, 2019
    Chhattisgarh State government has launched India's first-of-its-kind Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, North Chhattisgarh. The cafe was inaugurated by State Health Minister T S Singh Deo. The Cafe was set up by the  Ambikapur municipal corporation of Chhattisgarh.  Aim: The initiative aims to make the state plastic-free. With this iniitiative the poor people and rag pickers will be fed. Garbage Cafe: ♦ The Garbage Cafe will provide food to the citizens in exchange for plastic waste. ♦ Citizens will get free food in exchange for 1kg of plastic while breakfast will be provided in exchange for half a kilogram of plastic. ♦ The Cafe will sell the collected garbage at Solid-Liquid Resources Management Centre. ♦ The plastic waste will be turned into granules and used in the construction of roads in the city.   Note: Ambikapur is Chhattisgarh’s first dustbin-free city.

    Govt forms a panel to suggest measures to augment GST revenue

    October 11, 2019
    The government has formed a committee of officers to suggest measures to augment GST revenue collections and administration.  Aim: The committee has been suggested to consider a wide range of reforms so that a comprehensive list of suggestions may emerge. Tasks of the panel: ♦ The panel has been asked to provide suggestions about systemic changes in goods and services tax (GST) including checks and balances. This is expected to prevent misuse and measures to improve voluntary compliance.  ♦ It has been tasked to give inputs on measures for the expansion of the tax base. ♦ The team will also review the policy measures. It will submit suggestions for the relevant changes needed in the law, improved compliance monitoring and anti-evasion measures using better data analytics and better administrative coordination also form part of its terms of reference.

    Hindon to operate its first flight on 11 October

    October 10, 2019
    Hindon airport is all set for the first commercial flight from 11 October. The first flight from Hindon Airport is operated by the Heritage Aviation company. The 9-seater will take off to Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district from Hindon Civil Airport.  The company has set the price for one seat in the aircraft at Rs.2,500. The company has planned to launch flights for Dehradun, Hubli, Shimla, Faizabad, Gulbarga, Nasik and Coonoor among other popular destinations. Hindon Airport: Hindon Airport is an upcoming civil airport in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The airport is operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Hindan Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force. The Hindon airport will serve as the second airport in Uttar Pradesh. This airport will reduce the load at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.

    Centre issued penalty on 14 states and UTs for not performing on various health parameters

    October 10, 2019
    The government has imposed a penalty on 14 states and union territories (UTs) under National Health Mission for not performing on various health parameters in 2018-19. The penalty was imposed under a special initiative run by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare based on result-based funding. This move by the centre aimed to instill a sense of healthy competition amongst the states and stimulate better health outcomes across the country. National Health Mission: According to the National Health Mission, 80% of the fund for the State would be assuredly available and the rest 20% of the resource envelope fund would depend on State’s performance on agreed conditionalities. States including West Bengal, J&K, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar and Nagaland were penalized as they did not achieve the set benchmarks. National Health Mission performance index: According to the Health System Strengthening Conditionality Report of states 2018-19 released on 10 October. UTs and States namely Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Assam, Kerala, and Punjab were among the top five states that performed well on various health system strengthening parameters of the National Health Mission (NHM) and will receive incentives. As per the list Bihar, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Mizoram ranked as the bottom performers.

    Centre launches WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy

    October 10, 2019
    The Union Health Ministry has launched the World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2019–2023: A Time of Transition on 9 October. The strategy aims to provide a roadmap for the WHO to work with the Indian government.  Aim: The collaboration aims to achieve its health sector goals. It will also work to improve the health of its population. It is expecting to bring transformative changes in the health sector. CCS: The implementation of this CCS will build remarkable successes in public health that India has demonstrated to the world. WHO India, through this collaboration, will provide a great opportunity to showcase India as a model to the world in initiatives such as digital health, access to quality medicines and medical products, comprehensive hepatitis control programme, and Ayushman Bharat.

    Goa government launched 112 as a new integrated emergency number for police

    October 9, 2019
    The Goa government launched 112 as the new integrated emergency number for police, fire and medical emergency contact. This replaces the traditional dial number 100. The announcement was made by the Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawan. The services have been launched with the help of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Aim: ♦ It is expected that the response time of agencies concerned to any emergency will come down drastically, which will effectively bring down the prevalence of crime. ♦ In the 1st phase, the dial 112 service will only cover the police department.  ♦ In the second Phase, Fire and medical services would be brought under the new dial number. Implementation: So far, 2 centres have been established at Panaji and Margao as a part of the new integrated service. Also, 10 vehicles each in North Goa and South districts are connected to the new platform. The number of vehicles will be increased.

    Cabinet approves MoUs signed between India and Foreign Broadcasters

    October 9, 2019
    PM-led Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs signed between the Indian government and the Foreign Broadcasters in the field of Radio and Television. Aim: The MoUs with the Foreign Broadcasters were signed as it will benefit the Public broadcaster in exploring new visions. The agreement will set up new Strategies to address the demands of new technologies and stiff competition. The MoU will also benefit Media liberalization and Globalization. MoU: ♦ The MoU will cause an impact on the Broadcasting of programmes that can be obtained through mutual exchange. ♦ The co-production will lead to equity and inclusiveness among viewers/listeners of DD and AIR.  ♦ Exchanges of technical Know-how, expertise, and training of manpower would help the public broadcaster to meet the emerging challenges in the field of broadcasting.

    BSE partners with Ficci to enhance the MSME sector

    October 9, 2019
    Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) partnered with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) to promote Udyam Saathi and Udyam Sakhi initiatives in order to foster the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector. The partnership aims to enhance MSME and startup environment Event: ♦ BSE along with Ficci organized a session to identify gaps in the existing policies and make suggestions for robust policies.  ♦ The MSMEs presented new ideas and suggestions at the session. ♦ They also discussed their main issues of concern, including simplifying the MSME definitions, availability of funds which will result in an improved attitude of lenders and borrowers, pull up payment delays and increasing market access for the MSMEs, to the ministry. ♦ In the event around 40 stakeholders, including 20 MSMEs, participated.

    Income Tax Department launched faceless e Assessment scheme

    October 9, 2019
    Income Tax Department has launched a faceless e-Assessment scheme. The scheme was launched by Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey in New Delhi. Centre has chosen 2,686 officials of the I-T department for the implementation of the scheme. Aim: The faceless e-assessment aims to increase the ease of compliance for taxpayers. It will increase the transparency and efficiency, functional specialization, improvement in the quality of assessment. It aims to eliminate the human interface in the income tax assessment system. Faceless e-Assessment scheme: ♦ The scheme aims to provide faceless assessment of income tax returns (ITR) through completely electronic communication. ♦ Under such condition, the taxpayers will receive notices on their registered e-mails and on the registered accounts on the web portal www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in ♦ They will also receive alert messages their registered mobile number which specifies the issues for which their cases have been selected for scrutiny. ♦ Under the scheme, the department has picked up over 58,000 cases for the faceless e-Assessment scheme.

    Centre approved Rs.1,400 crore for a commercial airport in Kutch

    October 9, 2019
    The Centre approved the establishment of a commercial airport in Kutch, Gujarat. It also approved an investment of about Rs.1,400 crore for the establishment purpose. Other approvals: ♦ The proposed project will be developed by Mundra International Airport Pvt Ltd. The proposal was recently approved by the Ministry of Environment after considering the views of an expert panel. ♦ The company also received the environment clearance for the proposed project that was subject to the compliance of certain conditions. ♦ The company is yet to obtain clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It should also get approval from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for safety and project facilities. Kutch Airport project: ♦ The project is expected to generate employment for over 8,000 persons. The project will be commissioned in 2021-22.  ♦ Under the proposal, the existing airstrip in Mundra will be revamped into a full-fledged commercial airport which will serve Boeing 747-400 category aircraft.  ♦ An aerospace manufacturing facility will also be established under the project. ♦ It will also bring improvement in education, community health, sustainable livelihood, and rural infrastructural fronts.

    PM Modi urges people to work for the empowerment of women and conserve energy and water

    October 9, 2019
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people to work for women empowerment and ensure their dignity. He delivered this, while he addressed the Dussehra festivities on 8 October in Delhi. He also said that every individual should take up the mission to not waste food, conserve energy and water and avoid single-use plastic. The Dussehra event organized by Dwarka Sri Ram Leela Society.  PM Modi also participated in the special puja and burnt the effigy of Ravana, it signifies the victory of good over evil. He also said India is a land of festivals. Festivals are the life of our country and every festival brings society together.

    Centre launched eDantseva website

    October 8, 2019
    Centre launched the e-Dantseva website and mobile application, the first-ever national digital platform, on oral health information and knowledge dissemination. It was launched by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on 7 October in New Delhi. e-DantSeva: e-DantSeva is the first-ever national digital platform. It aims to provide oral health information both in the form of a website and mobile application. Aim: It aims to create awareness among the significance of maintaining optimum oral health. It will also equip them with the tools and knowledge to do so, including awareness of the nearest oral health service facility.  e-DantSeva provides oral health information that were gathered from scientific resources and connects the public to timely advice for managing any dental emergency or oral health problem. Developed by: e-DantSeva initiative was developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with AIIMS and other stakeholders. Other launches: ♦ The Union minister released the Braille booklet and Voice over on Oral Health Education for the visually impaired individuals ♦ Also, oral health posters for pregnant women and children were released

    Indian Army organizes Veer Kutumb Rally in Jammu and Kashmir

    October 8, 2019
    Jammu and Kashmir, Crossed Swords Division organized a VEER KUTUMB RALLY at Tanda, Akhnoor Aim To reach out to veterans, veer naris, widows and their families. The Rally was organised by the Indian Army as part of its activities to observe 2019 as the 'Year of the Next of Kin'.  General Officer Commanding (GoC) Crossed Swords Division, Maj Gen R. Dewan, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. AIR Correspondent Vijay Bajaj reports that large number of ex-servicemen and Veer Naris took part in the rally during which they were briefed about their rights. While addressing the gathering Maj Gen R. Dewan said that no incentive can ever compensate the sacrifice of soldiers and their kin. The gathering president, J&K Ex-Servicemen League, Maj Gen (Retd.) Govardhan Singh Jamwal is taking many steps for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen and Veer Naris and the pension of veer naaris has been increased manifold. A free medical and dental camp was also organized. On the occasion, scooters, wheelchairs and some other household items were distributed to disabled soldiers and kins of the martyrs.

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